Toggle Contrast

National Optimal Lung Cancer Pathway (NOLCP)

The National Optimal Lung Cancer Pathway (NOLCP) was developed by the NHS England Lung Clinical Expert Group and published in August 2017. The aim is to improve and streamline the pathway to help lung cancer patients get diagnosed more quickly and at an earlier stage, when treatment may be more effective.

The NOLCP recommends changes and improvements in the whole lung pathway from prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and improving patient experience. The benefits of the new pathway include:

  • Faster turnaround and reporting times, leading to shortened time to diagnosis, enabling patients to progress rapidly to any treatment required.
  • Ensuring patients have cancer ruled out or diagnosed within 28 days of referral for diagnostic tests, reducing patient stress and anxiety.
  • Improved patient experience, through having better coordinated care and diagnostics and having a patient navigator as a single point of contact.

This is a national initiative, and all Cancer Alliances in England are expected to play a key role in supporting and facilitating implementation in their local areas.

Since 2018, RM Partners has been supporting all our partner Trusts to implement the NOLCP and our Lung Pathway Group shares NOLCP best practice and guidance and reviews progress.

For more information, please contact John Burchill (, programme lead.